Auction 91 Part 2 "Shanah Tovah" Postcards and Greeting Cards from the Collection of Dr. Haim Grossman

Lot 260

Collection of "Shanah Tovah" Cards – Gold Ink on Transparencies – United States, Germany and France, Last Quarter of the 19th Century

Opening: $400
Sold for: $813
Including buyer's premium

11 early "shanah tovah" cards. United States, Germany and France, [last quarter of the 19th century].
Blue, green and red transparencies, bearing greetings in Hebrew, English, German and French, printed with golden ink. Some of the cards are marked with the name of the publisher or distributor: • Greeting card for Rosh Hashanah 1876; "Entered in the office of the Librarian of Congress at Washington 1874 by J. K. Buchner N. Y." (possibly printed in Europe to be sold in the U.S.). • Card from the A. J. Hofmann bookstore in Frankfurt. • Card published by L. Blum, Paris. • Card published by Librairie Israélite, Paris.
8.5X5 to 7.5X13 cm. Condition varies. Most cards in good condition. Open tears to few cards.
Provenance: The Dr. Haim Grossman collection.

Dr. Chaim Grossman's Israeliana collection is exceptional in size, quality and variety. Grossman, an educator, historian and folklorist, was a methodical, knowledgeable and meticulous collector, and his deep understanding of Palestinian-Yishuv and Israeli material culture set the ground for a one-of-a-kind collection of mundane and less than mundane objects – from the ephemeral, the negligible, the widely available to the rare and singular.
The "shana tovah" collection left by Grossman – a considerable part of which is offered in the present auction – comprises thousands of postcards, cards, letters and other paper items made and sent year after year in, by and for Jewish communities: in Eastern and Western Europe, Palestine, Iran, Iraq, North Africa, North and South America, as part of the tradition of sending hand-written, hand-drawn or printed new year’s greetings, which originated in German Jewry but with the rise of postcards spread to most communities. The earliest items in the collection date to the 1860s; the latest were made in the late 20th century. It includes both beautifully designed, rare, early and singular postcards and cards, and mass-made, highly popular items sold in large quantities, in varying production quality and in dozens of repeating versions, each according to the technical abilities achieved by the local publication industry.
The collector's devotion to his collection is evident in the sheer number of items, in the wealth of techniques, visuals and themes, and in the thorough, intersectional categorization by period, origin, motif, technique and material. Glitter and relief embossing, scraps, lace and golden ink, lithography and celluloid transparencies, plastic, textile and metal decorations; Yiddish, Hebrew, English, Russian, French, Polish, German greetings; children, angels, families, pets, immigrants, travelers, professionals; portraits and tinted reproductions; Judaism, Zionism, the state, the army; the ritual and the mundane; any new year's greeting, in any form whatsoever, had a place in Grossman's collection and was honored as a historical testimony, as a timeless, invaluable treasure.

"Shanah Tovah" Postcards and Greeting Cards from the Collection of Dr. Haim Grossman